Cody, WY - Ice fishing on Buffalo Bill Reservoir can be very good at times, so
good that some people find it difficult to resist taking more than the law
On Jan. 1, 2008, a new set of fishing regulations went into effect that included
many changes in creel and possession limits. In an effort to conserve trout in
Buffalo Bill Reservoir the creel limit on trout was reduced from four to three,
allowing no more than two of the three to be cutthroat trout. A separate creel
and possession limit was established for the reservoir's lake trout.
"When the ice forms on Buffalo Bill Reservoir quite a crowd of anglers gather,"
said Travis Crane, game warden trainee for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
"And, when the fishing is good it is tempting to keep more than the legal
On Jan. 4, 2008, warden Crane observed Cory R. Snell of Lovell, Wyoming did just
that. Snell was cited for taking and possessing eight trout while ice fishing on
Buffalo Bill Reservoir none of the trout were lake trout. Only five days
later, Snell was again observed fishing on Buffalo Bill Reservoir and when
checked by Cody game warden Craig Sax, was found to be over his trout limit by
"I was surprised when I discovered that Mr. Snell had committed this same
violation only a few days prior to my field check. In most cases, citations
serve as a deterrent to future violations, but it seems Snell didn't learn a
lesson after being caught with an over limit the first time." Sax said.
On Jan. 14, 2008, Snell appeared before Park County Circuit Court Judge Bruce B.
Waters, where he pleaded guilty to both over limit violations. Judge Waters
levied a fine of $210.00 for Snell's first violation. Judge Waters fined Snell
$400.00 for the second violation and revoked his fishing privileges for two
years from the date of the sentencing.
The loss of fishing privileges extends beyond the borders of Wyoming. The states
of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico,
New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and
Wyoming are member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Under the Compact, when a person has their hunting, fishing, or trapping
privileges legally suspended in the Compact state where the violation occurred,
the suspension is recognized by all of the member states of the Compact.
"I think this case demonstrates that the cost associated with wildlife
violations may not always serve as a deterrent to future violations, however,
losing your privileges in 24 states including Wyoming should be a deterrent to
anyone who values hunting and fishing," Sax said.